# Can I get some Mathematica help?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by one1, Jul 27, 2008.

1. ### one1 macrumors 65816

Joined:
Jun 17, 2007
Location:
Chattanooga, TN
#1
Meh, this program is screwing with me. I'm trying to learn it so I am messing with simple numbers here and it is not giving me the answer I want. Here's two examples of some thing I am trying to simplify and it's putting out the wrong output.

First I tried to get the fraction simplified, then I tried to simply get the square root of 50.

It's just not giving me the answer I am looking for. On the square root of 50 I expected it to pop out 7.071xxxxxx

2. ### Darth Cow macrumors newbie

Joined:
Jul 27, 2008
#2
To get Mathematica to give you an approximate answer, use the command N. You can either way as follows:
Code:
```N[123/456]
123/456 //N
```

3. ### one1 thread starter macrumors 65816

Joined:
Jun 17, 2007
Location:
Chattanooga, TN
#3
command N launches a new untitled window for me, but placing the N command doesn't seem to be working out. Am I doing it wrong?

4. ### Darth Cow macrumors newbie

Joined:
Jul 27, 2008
#4
Just write it as I've typed it in the code box. It's the function N that gives an approximation, and Mathematica functions work by evaluated arguments in square brackets. Look at some tutorials in Mathematica's extensive documentation.

5. ### Am3822 macrumors 6502

Joined:
Aug 16, 2006
Location:
Groningen, The Netherlands
#5
Mathematica prefers to keep things exact (i.e., rational numbers and roots instead of approximate decimal representations). If you must have 'real' answers at all stages, simply change one of the numbers from an integer/fraction to a 'real' number -- use 30.0 instead of 30, for example.

If you have the time, check out the Mathematica Book, which is included in the program's help file. It will explain things more clearly.